Past, Present, Future: DSP Alice

Simone Blum & DSP Alice competing in the Rolex Grand Prix. Ph. ©Erin Gilmore for NF

Simone Blum would like to make one thing clear: DSP Alice won’t be sold. If you’ve yet to hear about the impressive 10-year-old mare (Askari x Landrebell) who seemingly came out of no where, you’re probably not alone. But, for her owner and rider, 28-year-old Blum of Germany, the journey to center stage has been no overnight sensation.

Blum herself falls within the top 10% of the FEI rankings and has been slowly bringing along the 16.3 hand, German bred chestnut mare. Through patience and careful management, the hard work has begun to pay off, with Alice winning multiple grands prix throughout the 2017 season.

But it has been her recent step up to the CSIO and CHIO5* level that has gotten people talking about DSP Alice. This spring, Blum competed the mare at CHIO Rotterdam, and put in a strong appearance two weeks ago at CHIO Aachen. Last Saturday, July 29th, the duo put in a memorable performance in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Berlin CSI5*, which lead them to a 2nd place finish.

Over the final jump, a fist pump in the air solidified what Blum knew all along about her horse with the ballerina frame. The mare will be one to watch as her rider continues to take her through the levels of the sport. After a well deserved break, the two will join Team Germany as reserves at the upcoming FEI European Championships this month in Goteburg, Sweden. We caught up with Blum to talk about the horse whose undeniable power has captured the attention of many.

PAST

  • I got her from Stephen Buchheim, a rider from East Germany who had her from when she was four-years-old.
  • I’ve had her for three years, and we got her when she was seven-years-old. When I tried her she gave me a really good feeling and I think we fit together from the first minute I got on. I rode her a little more because she was a little spooky and very careful. She’s been an unbelievable horse from the age of seven. Even then ,you could really see her quality, scope, and carefulness, but she needed time.
  • When she was eight, she went to her first CSI2* grand prix. Although she sometimes did a 1.50m class, we tried to keep her in smaller competitions.
  • When she was nine years old I rode her in the bigger classes, and then she won the German Championships for women in 2016. She also won a few grand prix classes.

PRESENT

  • Her nickname is Elsi, or Else when she misbehaves.
  • She loves mangos.
  • When I got her she didn’t like men or foreign people, but she has gotten better. With us, her family, she is perfect and she really loves cuddling. When she’s at the competition, her ears are back and she acts like a mare, and then I know she’s in good form.
  • She’s a very powerful horse so she needs a lot of movement. Three to four times a day she has to go outside. She is either ridden or lunged, put on the walker, or she gets ridden in the woods or in a field. She loves to canter a lot, and I think she is a horse that never gets tired.
  • This year we started in Olivia, Spain [at the Spring MET], and the outdoor season for us was a really good start. She won one CSI3* Grand Prix [in Olivia] and three weeks later in San Giovanni, Italy she won two CSI3* Grand Prix. Then I went to Mannheim and Norten-Hardenburg, two big shows in Germany. I rode in the German Championships again, this year against the men and we won. It was the start of our good career, I think.
  • We qualified to ride in Rotterdam and Aachen, and now she’s allowed to go to the European Championships, which I’m really happy about. In Rotterdam, she went in one competition but Aachen was her first CSI5* grand prix.
  • Since the end of her seven year old year, everyone has wanted to buy her. This year, after the German Championships, we [put out] a statement that we will not sell her. Since then it’s been better.

Future

  • Maybe we will go to Barcelona this September. And then, over the winter we want to give her a break.
  • A Nations Cup next year would be perfect. Going to Aachen again, and maybe a Global Champions Tour. I think I have to be a little bit choosey because she can’t go to everything.
  • I wish, in the future, that her and I will be able to qualify and go to a championship. She’s just 10 and I think we will have a few more years [together]. We hope she always stays fit and good, and then we will see.
  •  And of course, it would be a dream to go to Tokyo 2020 with her.

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